Yesterday was spent travelling, although for a change I flew to and from Monza, rather than the more romantic option of driving. Speed cameras have dulled some of the joys of the open road, although I still prefer it to the cattle markets that are the airports of today.
Cattle markets in shopping malls.
There were some enlightening moments on the way. In the cab on the way to Linate airport I was idly listening to the Italian radio – just keeping up with the verbal machine gun noises. It was a show all about food, called Gastronaut, a nice play on words. I remembered as the host was describing the difficulty of finding a certain kind of exotic flour, to make a very specific type of bread, that the Gastonaut is a man called Davide Paolini, who in a previous life was the managing director of the Benetton F1 team, back on the days when the team was using BMW engines and had just won its first race with a youngster called Gerhard Berger. Paolini was shoveled out of the way to make space for a flash harry called Flavio Briatore, after the Benetton Family were somehow convinced that he would do a better job. The team did win races, but all too often when it did controversy.
I always wondered what would have happened if Paolini had stayed on. Still, he has since built himself the Gastronaut empire, and good on him. He is a good example of how F1 people can achieve much outside the sport because they have a different mindset to others. They move at a faster pace.
This was highlighted in another way later in the trip when I was transferring from the funny little train that takes travelers from Orly Airport to join the Paris transport system. I had not been hanging about, scything through the wombles one finds on all airports, but as we went through the ticket machines was a Japanese colleague, who is based in Paris. We were the first two off the train.
“It’s funny how the F1 people are always at the front,” I mused, as we rushed onward.
Today I’m on a Eurostar and back to London so unless there is anything really wild, it will probably be a little quiet. Amazingly the Eurostar has yet to get wireless Internet access!